Category: Mechanical & Electrical


Insulation Covers And Connectors – Important Electrical Accessories


Brief on Insulation Covers
Insulation covers or blankets help maintain process temperature, protect machine components from environmental stress and give highest level of insulation thus ensuring long product life. They not only protect the product but also the personnel working on the machines. Insulation covers reduce undue stress on the machinery and offer increased energy efficiency. These blankets also aid in effective process control by keeping checks on process temperatures, flow of the material, levels of ingredients in the process, etc. Overall they help in making the process cost effective.

An insulation cover is either tight fit or removable. Even the tight fit covers are removable and replaceable. They ensure a complete covering and are highly long lasting. Customized insulation blankets can be designed by studying the facility, evaluating the process parameters and ensuring they increase the efficiency.

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Brief on Screened Separable Connectors

Functional Parameters
Connectors are an electro mechanical device for joining and making the electrical terminations touch proof. They consist of a male component viz. Plugs and the female component viz. Jacks. The screened separable connectors are made of silicone EPDM rubber. They connect cables to switch gears, transformers and other equipment. These connectors are protected by touch proof outer screen making them fully insulated, submersible. The fully screened connection makes mating with both A and C type bushings possible. Their design is compact, finish is smooth, current capacity is high to the tune of 250A, 630A to 1250A and performance is effective. Their voltage ratings are 11KV, 15KV, 24KV, etc. Using these connectors both ends of the cable are terminated sometimes using identical connectors or at times terminated differently.

Installation
The screened separable connectors are easy, safe and quick to install due to their optimized design and selection of material. They fit into smallest of installation spaces and even when the clearances for operation is insufficient.

Characteristics
Connectors are a physical interface and they should be of a proper size, offer good resistance, give proper insulation, show ruggedness, should be resistant to water, pressure and other factors. Their reliability, durability and ease of installation determine the area of usage.

Applications
These connectors find usage in a wide range of industries like electric substation, underground distribution, shipping, mining, oil and gas, railways, etc.

Summarizing
Screened separable connectors make the terminations touch proof and the insulation covers provide utmost electrical safety. The installation, operational and performance qualification of these accessories must be well documented to ensure compliance with regulations. Onsite training and documentation of the same is also a requirement for safety compliance.

Supporting a wide application range of Touch proof terminations, the design incorporates one body and stress cone adapters to cover all cross section from 25 to 300 sq. mm.

Packaged Water Bottle Testing – 3 Important Tests for Every Manufacturer


With the rising demand for packaged drinking water, the beverage companies are investing a big share in packing and promoting mineral-rich water. But there is a considerable difference in the prices. The reason behind this is quality of packing that is used for packing the water. A good quality bottle has undergone different types of testing and is considered as user-friendly and safe as primary packing.

By not going into the molecular structure or chemical properties, physical properties are really a matter of concern for most of the manufacturers. Deformed bottles, broken bottles, leaked caps, etc. may lead to spoilage of the whole lot and may face straightway rejection from QC in-charge or from the retailer. To cut down the rejection cost and failure cost, it is important to perform the test before starting the mass production of the bottles.

Top Load Testing – During transportation or in warehouses, the bottles are stacked over each other. It is a very common technique of utilising the space efficiently. Due to stacking, bottles are being subjected to a constant compressive load. This may result in buckling of the bottle from different points, like from the neck or from the bottom. To avoid such deformities, manufacturers must perform top-load testing by applying a compressive load on the bottle sample. If manufacturers understand the behaviour of their bottles, they can issue the guidelines to the carrier not to subject the load exceeding the defined limit. In case of failure to follow the guidelines, claims can be slapped on the carrier company.

Torque Testing – Torque is the rotational force applied to the cap to open it. To make bottles user-friendly, it is important to have right torque requirements. The user of a packaged water bottle could be a 10 years old child or a 65 years old lady. So, there is a huge variation in strength that can be applied. Having the appropriate torque not only makes the bottle user-friendly but also assures the leak resistance.

Bottle Drop Testing – It is a very simple test but tells a lot about the crack resistance or dent resistance properties of the bottles. When PET bottle falls from a height accidentally or due to manhandling, how strong it is to bear the impact of free falling? In this test, the bottle is made to drop from a height and visual analysis is done to see any deformity developed. Drop testing instrument is a standardised instrument designed as per the testing standards issued by relative authorities.

For capturing a good market share it is very important to think from customer’s perspective. Failing to adhere quality standards result in short lived success. Thus, delivering a good user experience along with good quality should be the priority of manufacturers.

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ASTM D 903 Test Standard Used for Medical Packaging


Medical packaging must be considered as important as the medical device itself. Its integrity and quality must be tested and given equal attention and should not be considered secondary to the device. One of the basic testing standard used for quality assurance testing is ASTM D 903. It is used for conducting peel-seal strength test in packaging material.

Why conduct seal strength test for medical packages?

When the quality assurance testing of packaging is mentioned, the first stage that comes to the mind of many testing lab technicians is the mechanical testing. It is the most vital and non-negotiable part of package testing. And when it comes to the seal strength of sterile medical packages, it is important that it must be highly regulated due to the risk of getting contaminated and pose life risk in further use. Many medical devices are sterilized before packaging so that they can be immediately utilized by doctors once opened. The seals used for this type of packaging often include a flexible barrier which is attached to an advanced adhesive. To ensure quality it is vital to test the seal strength so that the medical device stays sterile.

The medical package testing is conducted to ensure that a perfect seal has been generated blocking the sterile medical device from contaminants present in the surrounding atmosphere. The weak or incomplete seal regions will permit the entry of contaminants into the sterile medical package. Seal strength measurement of the medical packaging can reduce the risk of such contamination. For the same purposes, it is also important to maintain a constant seal strength of the packages across a quality uniform seal. The most renowned and prime testing standard used for conducting the quality evaluation of packaging is ASTM D 903 method.

The standardized testing method

This testing standard is used for determining the peel or seal strength of flexible barrier packaging. Calculating the peel & seal strength allows the testing labs to acquire quantitative measurements regarding the packaging process. In this test, the average force to open the seal and peak load during the test is computed using a precisely designed peel strength tester. It is used to quantify the permanence of adhesion or peel-ability of self- adhesive pressure sensitive materials. The testing can be conducted at 90° or 180° angle fixture to generate real-life peeling simulation. To conduct the test procedure, a sample is placed in the machine and is pulled from one particular direction to check the adhesion strength of the specimen with a specified speed. This form of testing is best when not operated manually and is fully automated. The readings of the test in an automated system can be observed in digital form on the display screen of the machine. Many labs conduct peel strength test not only to obtain related force data required to open the package but also to calculate the consistency of the packaging process and other factors that could affect the strength of the package seal, such as a sterilization process or its shelf-time. A high-quality, flexible barrier sterile seal will require a continuous force in order to peel the medical package. In case the force required to remove the flexible barrier falls down, it is an indication of a poor seal or weak adhesion between the barrier the packaging. Seal strength testing of such packages is performed to ensure short-term seal strength i.e. until the time it is opened, and also to ensure that no micro-bacterial organism enters the packaging.

With an emerging medical market across the world, the packaging is an area that requires delivering standardized quality testing. As this field’s quality scale is directly linked to the life-risks if not maintained. In order to cover quality challenges and opportunities related to the same, it’s important to perform the physical testing of packages by using precisely designed instruments. Moreover, quality testing of medical packaging needs to be considered with the same thoroughness as the medical device itself.

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Go for Reputed Manufacturers for Your Electrical Accessories


There are a wide range of electrical accessories which have different technical specifications with regard to dimensions, operation, installation, etc. Heat shrink tubes, insulation covers, heat shrink caps, screened separable connectors for touch proof terminations are just to name a few of them.

Why should one opt for a known name in the field? These manufacturers have a rugged design for the accessories which matches international standards for safety, making them withstand the environmental factors. Their accessories go through thorough quality checks. The experienced manufacturers provide onsite support in terms of installation, training, user- friendly operational guidelines, material safety data sheets to ensure protection of equipment and personnel as well as compliance with regulatory bodies. These manufacturers not only install their products at the client’s site but also extend their expertise for trouble shooting.

From safety point of view screened separable connectors hold an important place in the list of electrical accessories. They make the terminations touch proof. They have two components male called plugs and female called jacks. They connect the polymeric cables to equipment such as transformers. They work on electrical and mechanical energy and join the terminations thus resulting in touch proof property. Their outer screen makes them insulated. This outer screen has conductive properties and it is completely touch proof. These connectors are compatible with both A and C type of bushings. Their design is slug fit and end product is of high quality. Their working capacity at high current values up to 1250A and voltage up to 24KV makes their performance very effective. Screened separable connectors have excellent insulation and resistance. They are an important interface and have to tolerate environmental stress such as temperature, pressure, moisture, etc. This makes them reliable and long lasting.

Their high quality material and design finish results in an easy, speedy and safe installation. They can be sized to fit into cringed spaces. Thus they find application in a variety of industries such as oil refineries, underground electrical network, mining, shipping, etc.

Insulation covers are another critical accessory. They are insulation blankets which provide a complete coverage. They are designed to be removable and replaceable. Thus can be changed whenever desired. Their design again is facility specific, process friendly. They help maintain temperature during process thus increasing the life of the product, reducing wear and tear of the machinery, providing safety to the handlers, saving energy and ultimately increasing efficiency of production. The screened separable connectors provide high electric strength. The insulation covers or blankets perfectly cover different types of valves, piping, etc. High performance, multi- range touch-proof termination kits and insulation covers provide a compact design and efficient performance.

These become smart and economic electrical solutions when brought from reputed manufacturers.

Gala Screened Separable Connectors and Touch proof terminations are designed to connect single and three core polymeric cables to medium voltage switchgear and other equipment using bushings type “C” specified for 630A upto 24kV.

All You Need To Know About CNC Lathe Machines


Now, there are multiple types of CNC machining process. All of them have different functionalities and operations; CNC turning uses a helix path to cut through the material, while CNC milling uses rotary cutters to remove excess material. All of them require specific machining tools that enable the workpiece to work do the desired work. CNC lathe is one such important tool. In fact, the lathe is seen as the pioneer for being the machine for metal cutting.

Sounds interesting, right? Let’s delve deep into the functioning, properties, and types of CNC lathe machine.

Introduction

A lathe machine is typically used for shaping the material into the desired form by removing the excess material from a given workpiece (generally cylindrical). Apart from serving as cutting and facing machine, a lathe is also used to perform complex operations such as knurling, deformation, metal spinning, woodturning, thermal spraying, metalworking and more.

According to machine historians, the manual lathe was first used by the reformers in the Ancient Egypt and Greece. The European nation widely utilized two-person lathe variety, with the former turning the workpiece (wood) and the latter cutting off the excess material with a single point cutting tool. With the Industrial Revolution came the modern lathe; advanced, fast, and better!

Main Parts of a CNC Lathe Machine

Before moving on to the functioning of a lathe machine, let’s quickly go through the primary components of a lathe machine:

1. Bed: As the name suggests, the bed of a lathe serves as the base of the whole machine where the different components are mounted. Generally heavily rigid in structure, the lathe beds are made from a 9:1 combination melting of toughened cast iron (semi-steel) and steel scrap. This method helps lathe bed to perform a sliding action easily.

While single-bed lathe machines are quite popular, we also get two-three pieced beds, pieces bolted together to meet the desired length. The beds have a high damping capacity to absorb the vibrations produced by the working machine.

2. Carriage: Used for mounting and moving the cutting tools, a carriage moves the tool horizontally and vertically on the bed for a smooth cutting process.

3. Chuck: A chuck is responsible for holding the workpiece. This component is attached to the spindle that rotates both the chuck and workpiece.

4. CNC Control Panel: The storage center of the machine, CNC control panel stores all the CNC programs and instructions. The CNC expert operates the machine by controlling the keys on the panel, instructing the machine to produce the desired results.

5. Headstock: This part functions as a holding device for the other components of the lathe like gear chain, spindle, driving pulley and more.

6. Main Spindle: The main feeding center of the machine. A stock is fed via the headstock.

7. Main Drive Motor: The drive motor helps rotate the chuck, thus driving the entire machine.

8. Tailstock: A tailstock is usually used to conduct drilling operations and support the system.

9. Tool Turret: A tool turret is used a tool carrier for the machine. The shape and the size of the turret are determined by the number of tools that’ll be mounted on them.

CNC Lathe Machine: How Does It Work?

As discussed in the last part, a typical lathe comprises of a bed, headstock, tailstock, chuck, tool turret, carriage and a spindle for feeding purposes. The following steps define how this particular machine works:

1. First Step: After checking the machine for the working faults, a cylindrical workpiece is attached to the chuck. Its position can differ as per requirement.

2. Second Step: We now set the spindle on the desired speed, thus rotating the chuck and the workpiece. Major attention needs to be paid on the spindle speed as any discrepancy can cause cutting errors. Check if the workpiece is turning properly.

3. Third Step: Now locate the cutting tool at the desired feed by moving the tool turret and carriage. Pay special attention to feeding speed.

4. Fourth Step: Remove all the excess metal by moving the carriage to get the finished product.

Types of Lathe Machines:

Just like every other machine, a lathe machine also has different varieties that are used to fulfill different work requirements. Let’s have a look at the major types of the CNC lathe machine:

Engine Lathes

Pretty popular amongst manufacturers, an engine lathe perfectly suitable for low-power operations. But that doesn’t mean that it cannot be used for high-power operations. This device is very reliable and versatile, operating on a wide range of speed & feed ratios. This type is perfect for manufacturers looking for a machine that works with different metals.

Centre Lathe

Centre lathe is a lathe type where the spindle speed is managed via a set of gears that are operated by using a lever.

Gap Bed Lathe

This type of lathe machine contains a removable bed section to accommodate the larger diameter of a workpiece, hence the name gap bed lathe. Generally, the part next to the headstock is removable.

Speed Lathes

A simpler version of a lathe machine, the speed lathe only has a headstock, tailstock, and tool turret. This type is generally used for light machine work as it can only operate in three or four speeds.

Bench Lathe

Smaller in size, a bench lathe can be mounted on a workbench for conducted lighter jobs.

Tool Room Lathes

This type is known for providing the best finishing. Tool-room lathe is highly versatile, working in a number of speeds and feeds.

Turret Lathes

A turret lathe is ideal for quick and sequential workings. With the tool holder in the vicinity, performing multiple operations on a single workpiece becomes several folds easier.

Special Purpose Lathes

These special purpose lathes are used to perform a heavy-duty production of identical parts. Some of the popular special purpose lathes include automatic lathes, crankshaft lathes, bench-type jewelers’ lathes, duplicating lathes, and multi-spindle lathes.

Machining Design Associated Ltd. is an ISO: 9001:2015 certified company dedicated to producing superior-quality CNC machined parts and custom metal parts to customer specifications. With a strong focus on continual improvement, our company only utilizes best-practices to ensure that the work we do for our customers is done in the most efficient, precise and cost-effective way possible.

The Advancement in Technology of, Especially in Case of Greaves Gearboxes Are Remarkable


Gearbox is one of the integral components of several industries. They operate as the source of power transmission for almost every form of function that takes place in the industrial sector. With time its industrial application has seen a steep rise, as a result of which manufacturers are producing exceptional range of gearboxes so as to meet the increasing demands.

This is because now these gearboxes have been decreased in size, but they are capable of providing the same efficiency that they had before. Therefore, the power transmission ability remains the same but the heavy size is reduced to manageable models.

There are two amazing forms of gearbox available in the market, each of which are known for their spectacular design and performance; they are:

• Inline helical gears: They are so for one of the most superior range of gearboxes whose input and output shaft efficiency can reach almost 100%. Moreover, these gearboxes are extremely easy to assemble and thus can be fitted to any system in a hassle free manner. All you need is a reliable inline helical gear dealers and then you are good to go. As, only the best quality gearbox from a reputable dealer will deliver the performance that you had expected from it.

• Greaves Gearbox: Greaves motorised gearboxes are yet another exceptional device that any industry would love to have. Right from mining & minerals, paper, iron & steel, ceramic till salt textile, leather and plastic- these gearboxes stand to be one of the most preferred options till date.

Why Do Gearboxes Lose Their Efficiency?
Gearboxes can lose their efficiency due to several reasons, some of which are lack of repair, replacement or maintenance. In order the way they should for a prolonged period of time there are certain steps that you need to follow and they are:

– Lubrication is the essence of gearbox. Lubricate the bolts and nuts of the gearbox time to time so as to reduce friction between the joints. This is because friction would ultimately lead to loss of power and even damage the components of the gearbox.

– Get the gearbox examined by an expert frequently; after purchasing it from geared motor dealers to make sure that it is working the way it should. If any problem is noticed by the professional then you can immediately repair or replace the parts before it affects the entire unit.

– Never neglect loud noises, unfamiliar operations or deteriorating performance of the gearbox, rather contact professionals at once when you come across any of these symptoms.

Purchase the Right Gearbox and Maintain it in an Optimal Manner

You need to pay detailed attention towards its maintenance, so that it works at its best for a long period of time.

Gearbox is one of the integral components of several industries. They operate as the source of power transmission for almost every form of function that takes place in the industrial sector. With time its industrial application has seen a steep rise, as a result of which manufacturers are producing exceptional range of gearboxes so as to meet the increasing demands.

The Use of Laser Cutting in Sheet Metal Prototyping


Though there are a number of ways that sheet metal can be shaped and cut, few are as precise, reliable and cost effective as laser cutting. The technology involved in laser cutting is so effective that a continuation and improvement of its future capabilities is inevitable.

Categories of Laser cutting Tools

Laser cut is a versatile tool whose use can be applied across a broad spectrum of materials such as stone, glass, wood, plastic and sheet metal.

A CO2 laser is a popular type of tool that is prized because it is easy to control and highly accurate. A beam made of concentrated CO2 gas is activated by electricity to fuel the cutting.

A fiber laser uses glass fibers to increase the potential of a seed laser. The result is a laser that is both more powerful and more precise when compared to a CO2 laser. A fiber laser is often used for metals because of its focused and intense beam.

A crystal laser is similar to a fiber laser except it uses both pump diodes and crystals to generate the intensity of its beam. A crystal laser has a comparable performance and application potential to a fiber laser.

There are numerous reasons why using laser cutting is the preferred method when developing a sheet metal prototype.

More Intricate
Because a laser has an average size of only a few micrometers, it allows for precision to create and cut sheet metal prototypes that would be impossible if other methods were utilized. This results in an almost limitless array of possibilities.

Finished edge
Using a physical technique, such as a blade, to cut sheet metal results in imperfections, such as roughness and burrs, along the edge. For many designs, these would need to be buffed out or otherwise removed which can increase the time it takes for the end user to receive their product. Using a laser eliminates this issue.

Scalability
The tools enable companies to cut as many or as few sheet metal prototypes as their customers need. These lasers often don’t have to be adjusted or retooled to accommodate the design of a particular piece. When adjustments are inevitable, they are easier to accomplish when using a laser cutter.

Laser Cutting and the Future

As of right now, CO2 lasers are still the industry standard though fiber lasers are being adopted rapidly. Although fairly new, the fiber laser technology is projected to become standard over the next 10 to 15 years. Many companies will continue to use their CO2 lasers alongside their fiber lasers, giving them more options for designs they can offer their customers. It could also be paired with 3D printing to create precise and reliable products for customers.

Heat Shrink Tubing – Best Protection to Your Cables & Wires


Heat shrink tubes, as the name suggests is a plastic based tube that shrinks on application of heat. The nylon or the material that is used in its making enables it to shrink radially after heat is applied and fit snugly around the application it is used for. The heat shrink tubes have several shrink ratios and the percentage of shrinking differs depending upon the ratio.

The original diameter can reduce to one-half, one-third or one-fourth the size after being heated and depending upon the requirements it is put to varied uses within industrial environments. All heat shrink products are water resistant and also resistant to fungus, acids and UV rays. Their durability and greater heat resistance makes them a preferred choice over conventional forms of insulation. Ease of installation and their cost effectiveness are added pros that make them an ideal option when it comes to safeguarding cables and wires from extreme weather conditions.

Several advantages are offered by the heat shrink tubing which are explained vividly. The first and foremost advantage obtained from them is total protection to cables and wires from exposure to excess heat, hazardous chemicals or any other environmental stress. This helps to maintain the quality of the cables and enables them to function effectively for greater periods of time. Secondly, the tubing enhances the cable flexibility leading to optimum usage and longer lifespan. This situation normally arises when there is a strain on your PC or TV cable due to insufficient lengths and this excess strain can affect the working of the devices connected to such cables.

Sometimes it also happens that the cables get tangled in one another and during such times it becomes difficult to identify which cable is connected to which device. Here, identification of cables can be achieved by use of heat shrink end caps which are available in varied colours. Every cable can be fitted with a differently coloured end cap so as to differentiate them from one another. Besides acting as protective sealants and colour coding the wires, they help to release the expanded gases that are formed within cables due to climatic conditions, transportation or storage. The use of heat shrink products lends a professional appearance to your workplace thus enhancing the image of your business.

All manufacturers in this business offer suitable warranty terms as well as maintenance services and this guarantees the effective working of the products for long times to come. The availability of varied sizes and shapes enables you to obtain the best fit for your application. If you want to avail the several advantages offered by the heat shrink products it is best to consider them the first choice for safeguarding the cables of your television sets or computers.

Heat shrink products are commonly used in several applications such as automotive, electrical and networking for insulating and protecting cable wires from environmental stress. Several products like cable sleeves have found their way into heavy duty applications as well as general purpose ones.

Promoting the Benefits of Work Order Software


Work order software (CMMS software) is a key part of a successful equipment maintenance program. Work orders are typically one or more tasks assigned to one or more maintenance personnel for the purpose of equipment item. These tasks are for preventive maintenance, projects, repair maintenance or other types of work. The maintenance staff enters, updates, assigns and closes work orders. This requires a certain level of commitment to the work order software and the expectation of benefits for the expended effort. As such, promoting the benefits of maintenance software is every bit as important and making the work order software easy to use.

  • What are the benefits of work order software to your organization?
  • How are the benefits of work order software promoted to maintenance employees?

Benefits of Work Order Software to Your Organization
The immediate and short-term benefits of using this software are as follows.

  • Easier delivery and communication of work assignments.
  • Balanced workload.
  • Improved spares management.
  • Better management and accountability of work assignments.
  • Improved equipment reliability.
  • Cost savings through analysis and resulting process improvement.

One of the main benefits this software is the ability to deliver the work assignments to personnel using a paperless system. Work orders are emailed in user-friendly formats such as Adobe Acrobat. This saves paper and consistently delivers the work assignments to the same place every time. Alternatively if a paper system is preferred, then automatic printing of assigned tasks is possible. Some more advanced software solutions provide scheduled automatic task assignments. This capability also frees up the maintenance manager as manual assignments ate reduced substantially with this automated system. Lastly, work orders are accessible directly from the software itself. This avoids email and paper use; however, access to a computer that either has the software loaded or has a web link to the CMMS system is required in this case.Balancing the workload over time and resources is possible with a scheduling tool such as work order software. Organizing tasks based upon available resources optimizes these resources and results in more work completed in the same amount of time. Spares linked to work templates results in automatic spares usage and allocation to the task. This feature of many CMMS solutions results is consistent use of the correct spare part for the job and better accounting of spares use. Some CMMS systems provide live links to equipment runtime components (such as hour meters) further automating the work assignment procedure.

In addition to immediate and short-term CMMS benefits long-term benefits may accrue in as little as six months depending upon level of use. The more the software is used the greater the benefits in general. Below is a listing of some of the long-term benefits of using work management software.

  • Querying the work history database simplifies compliance reporting.
  • Analysis of work history guides the maintenance manager in allocation of work.
  • Reporting spares usage provides a guide for restocking.
  • Reliability and overall equipment effectiveness KPIs optimize task assignments adding tasks in some cases and removing tasks in other cases.

Promoting the Benefits of Work Order Software to Employees
Choosing equipment maintenance software that is intuitive and accessible is a key factor in promoting the use of the software. Additionally, user screen customization is beneficial in that it gives the user a sense of personalization and control over the system. This user-level customization generally relates to screen colors, default screen, screen labels and other preferred settings. Configuring the software so that maintenance users are able to manage their own work has benefits as well. Studies have shown that a sense of accomplishment with work is a primary job satisfaction indicator. Use of work order software provides this satisfaction as maintenance employees see exactly what work is required and close out their own work orders. In many cases, this leads to improved morale and greater productivity. This is only possible if user level roles and permissions are available within the software.By adopting this management style, users feel empowered and feel a greater sense of ownership of the equipment they are working on. Once again, this leads to improved morale and productivity.

Another group of software user are the personnel that request work. Making it simple for an inexperienced worker to submit a repair ticket to the software encourages the use of the system. In many cases a web interface is best for this function as it is accessible from many locations and various devices.

Promoting the benefits of work order software benefits your organization with the ultimate result of improving equipment reliability and the reducing maintenance costs.

Importance of Melt Flow Index Testing in Polymers


Polymers are used in manufacturing a wide range of products. A good quality polymer can bring profit and branding, whereas low-quality polymer can bring safety issues, sales loss, and downfall in branding. Hence, an efficient polymer test method is used by manufacturers to rank the polymer material by evaluating its melt flow properties.

Why is polymer testing required?

The use of melt flow index (MFI) test, which is also known by the name of melt flow rate (MFR) test, dates back to the preliminary time of polymer science and material categorization. This testing method may seem very basic but is the best technique to rank the polymer samples as per its test results. Many polymer processors give high importance to this evaluation based ranking. Moreover, medical device, food, and pharmaceutical packaging manufacturers have set polymer melt flow testing as their clearance criteria for suppliers. They use the test results as benchmarks to ensure that the material will match the intended behaviour during its processing, extrusion or injection moulding.

How is the test conducted?

The MFI tester is an accurate testing instrument which is used to calculate the polymer mass extruded through a capillary die at a particular temperature and applied force. The testing sample can be a virgin resin or material from a finished thermoplastic product. The specimen is loaded into the preheated barrel of the tester along with a piston. A specified amount of load is kept on the piston for the application of force. When the appropriate condition is reached the specimen starts melting and starts flowing out from the capillary die. After cooling down, the extruded polymer sample weighed. The test results are then computed, which is the weight of sample flown in 10 minutes of time.

Characteristics determination of polymer by MFI test

Distinct useful characteristics of polymers are determined by testing the flow properties of the material. The melt viscosity of a polymer during the test is inversely proportional to its flowing behavior. More the polymer is viscous, slower will be the flow. The test data can also be linked to the molecular weight of the sample. Long chain polymer requires more time to get pushed through the capillary and thus have a slow flowing nature. Data related molecular weight distribution can also be taken by performing the test at the same temperature with distinct load application. Also, the shear viscosity of a particular sample can be computed by applying an inversely proportional relationship. The reasons behind opting for an MFI test over other techniques for evaluation of these properties are its promptness and its cost-effective nature.

Maybe the melt flow index testing appears to be basic and is sometimes not opted over the complicated and latest technologies, but it can deliver highly accurate and analytic test results complying all the test requirements.